How To Build Younger Leaders
I always look forward to this time of year with my family. It’s when my children go to summer camp for a week.
While I could go on with the great mission and ministry that the camp provides, there is one thing that is truly remarkable about it. It’s the willingness of not just the staff, but the young counselors, to serve and give of themselves week in and week out, to the junior and teen campers.
These counselors, all young men and women from their late teens to early 20’s, share the burden to develop these boys and girls into young men and women of character. They each have a passion to serve, to be accessible and there for the campers, and to help them through the challenges of life in today’s world.
Many of these counselors were themselves campers that have been influenced by their counselors in previous years.
They come back to not get, but to give back what they have been given, both of talent and of a burden to serve.
I had opportunity to talk with the program manager there, a young man in his mid-to-late twenties named Josh. We talked how one is able to keep their kids from being self-centered in today’s society. His answer was simple. “Just get them serving others.” He explained that it starts at an early age, and while anyone can change their mindset to serve others at any given point in their lives, having kids today start thinking of others will set them on a unique path to leadership and character that will not just serve them well, but countless others, throughout the course of their life.
So many times we look at how to build leaders in the business world. And we should always do so. Yet how is our influence in the young college students, teens, and kids in our sphere of influence? Those teens who work at your clothing outlet during the summer? The college intern who has joined your company for the semester? The neighbor’s daughter? Your own children?
The challenge for us today is to not only build leadership, but depth in the next generation. It starts young. It starts small. The future of leadership starts today.
“No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.” – Abraham Lincoln
(image courtesy thewildsofnewengland.org)